Consumers perceive social media as intrusive

myth-v-truthTwo nationwide survey results indicate that companies’ use of social media is perceived by both groups as potentially disruptive. 55% of senior marketing executives and 52% of consumers perceive social media as intrusive. In addition, the survey among senior marketing executives reveals that many believe the data generated by social media analytics is not yet actionable.

So there are two things going on here.  First,as more information surfaces about how social media is using your information, more and more consumers are becoming concerned that social sites know too much about them. The second is that marketers don’t know what to do with social media insights.

Social media is going to remain popular among users, but if platforms try too hard to be all things to everyone users are going to opt out.  For marketers, it’s a matter of listening and acting on the right insights but not all insights.  In any event the case for social media marketing is becoming very weak.


Not too long ago I worked with an online travel site to help them develop an analytics dashboard for their digital marketing.  A significant part of the budget was spent on social media, but the metrics clearly showed that the ROI wasn’t there.  We tested going dark on social media for 6 weeks and taking the dollars from social into behavioral targeting.  We immediately saw an increase in leads and sales and the ROI doubled in some areas.  The suggestion was made to move away from social media marketing but to ensure that we kept an active ear for problems or issues.

Over the last 2-3 years I have read a lot of garbage coming from self proclaimed social media marketing experts.  Usually they want you to buy their books or read their websites so THEY can make money at your expense.  Then it was big data that’s going to solve marketing and so it never ends.


If you want actionable insights get out and talk to your current customers and watch people as they shop.  There are no shortcuts to great marketing and the more data that comes out about social media the more we learn that consumers don’t want to be marketed to on a platform they use for their use.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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One Comment on “Consumers perceive social media as intrusive”

  1. I think you have some very good points — there is a lot of data in the Insights, and it can be challenging to use it properly. I also agree about talking to your customers – face-to-face is irreplaceable.

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